Archive for the ‘An n’ Pale’ Category

Archive: An n’ Pale | Café Conversation with musician and archivist Georges Vilson, An n’ Pale|Café Conversations


Georges Vilson


After a brief summer hiatus, An n’ Pale returned in September with Haitian musician and archivist of traditional folk and Vodou music, Georges Vilson.  Georges grew up in a family which valued Haitian culture and its musical traditions. His mother ignited his passion by immersing him in a magical world of music, replete with Creole lullabies, traditional folk, and classical and religious hymns. Early on, she recognized his musical gift and nurtured his vocal and musical talents. His latest work, KANDELAB 101: Notated Haitian Folks and Vodou Songs Volume 1, along with a 4 CD box set, is the culmination of years of work to ensure that these songs are preserved for future generations.

The conversation was led by Executive Director, Régine M. Roumain who inquired about George’s influences, the process of collecting and archiving hundreds of songs, the stigmatization of Vodou, and the role that the Diaspora should play in helping to maintain our cultural traditions.

Speaking to the climate of folk music in Haiti, Vilson described his interaction with youth in Port-au-Prince and how little they knew of these cultural treasures.  Vilson has invested himself in making sure that this music is archived and available for younger generations to learn and he often travels to conduct workshops on the subject.

Georges described his attempt to capture some of the nuances in Haitian Vodou music that are tied to specific regions of Haiti — his journey to Fonds des Blancs where he had to wait until night had fallen for the townsfolk to share their stories, meeting with ougans in the lakous all over the country. He also described his work to bring these songs and stories to children in Haiti.

The conversation was followed by questions and comments from the audience – what is the impact of negative perceptions of Vodou in Port-au-Prince, a city often considered the country’s cultural center? Will Vodou traditions be lost?  How do we work to ensure that they are preserved? Does one have to practice and believe in order to appreciate?

In his responses, we could see the sort of side-smiling laugh of a knowing man. Vodou is not going anywhere, Georges said. And he’s right, the culture and beliefs will be carried on as long as the drum beats.

The conversation was lively and could have gone on for hours… but, the music was calling us.  What followed was a 30 minute set of Ibo, Nago, & Rara rhythms with Georges on vocals, Chico Boyer on bass, and Jean Mary Brignol on drums.  Dancing ensued and a good time was had by all.

Thank you Georges!

KANDELAB 101 is available for purchase at the HCX Boutik, 558 St. Johns Place in Brooklyn.  Call 347-565-4429 to make an appointment to visit.

Check out some photos from the evening here!  

Thank you to photographers Tequila Minsky & Jocelyn McCalla.

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Archive: An n’ Pale | Cafe Conversation with Elle Philippe


“I work a full-time job and have a family to take care of; I just don’t have the time.”

“Working 40 hours a week plus college work- it’s a miracle I eat at all!”

“Why cook when I can heat this up in 5 minutes?!”


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Archive: An n’ Pale with journalist & author Jonathan M. Katz



Photo Credit: Michèle Voltaire Marcelin

On April 4 at FiveMyles Gallery, moderator Jocelyn McCalla prefaced the conversation by insisting to the audience that they ask tough questions. In the true spirit of An n’ Pale, the audience prepared for a discussion that would bring up a lot of hot button issues that confront Haitians. The night’s discussion with AP journalist & author Jonathan M. Katz focused around his new book The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster. The book juggles a chronicle of the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake and a critique of foreign aid in Haiti’s reconstruction efforts. Katz described the context of Haiti in the journalistic world climate, his experience during and post-earthquake, and responded to how the “voice” of aid groups often drowns out the actual needs of the people.

-Kassandra Khalil, HCX Program Coordinator

An n’ Pale |Café Conversation with Katz took place on April, 4th, 2013 at FiveMyles Gallery, Brooklyn. 

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April 18: “Haiti from Below” book talk & signing with Nathalie Brunet and Régine Zamor


Join HCX for a special book talk and signing for Haiti from Below, a book that captures the colorful underwater life along the northern coast of Haiti in over 100 stunning photos.

Haiti from Below by Nathalie Brunet and Nick Hobgood is the first public awareness tool created by Ayiti Nexus. This project celebrates the beauty and diversity of the marine life in Haiti. Its goal is to educate, attract positive attention on Haiti and inspire transformative behaviors.

Ayiti Nexus is a consulting firm with offices in Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitien, offering strategic development services to an array of clients who are conscious of promoting sustainable development in Haiti.

About our guests

Nathalie Brunet is a co-owner of Ayiti Nexus and author of Haiti from Below. She first developed an interest in nature conservation while studying environmental chemistry at university. Since then, she has worked in public relations and as a communications specialist for development projects implemented in different parts of Haiti.  In 2009, her professional duties led her to cover activities on the north and west coasts focused on introducing agricultural producers to environmentally sustainable practices. She became conscious of the correlation between food insecurity, the lack of education and the negative impact on Haiti’s marine environment.

Régine Zamor is a media producer, writer and development professional, and co-owner of Ayiti Nexus. Régine has worked extensively in development projects, community outreach and bilateral partnerships targeting the north of Haiti. Since relocating to Haiti in 2010 Régine has integrated her community work background into donor funded development programs and has forged partnerships with government institutions, private and public institutions, and community based organizations.

Unable to join our conversation is Nick Hobgood, the featured photographer in Haiti from Below. His experience shooting marine life began during a 6 year long USAID tour in East Timor where Hobgood was re-acquainted with diving and the subjects he learned pursuing his Masters Degree in Oceanography. Following his work in Southeast Asia, Hobgood began work at an environmental project in Haiti where he was able to continue his discovery of the seas and pursue his love of underwater photography. The pictures in the book were taken between 2007 and 2010 while Nick lived in the Cap Haitien area.

Haiti from Below will be on sale at this event for $50.
20% of proceeds from these sales will be donated to Haiti Cultural Exchange.

DATE/TIME: Thursday, April 18th, 2013 / 6-9pm. Discussion will begin at 7pm.
Light Refreshments will be served.
LOCATION: FiveMyles Gallery, 558 St Johns Place Brooklyn, NY 11238  Google Map
Take the  2, 3, 4, or 5 to Franklin Ave.
ADMISSION: Free. $10 suggested donation.
Seating is limited, please RSVP to

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